Employee Incentives with a Personal Touch

by: Nichole Gunn December 13, 2010

The days of monetary employee incentives have moved into a new era, that of combination incentives that offer a personal touch.

While every business needs to have employee reward and incentive programs in place, they are of more importance for small businesses. The smaller employers need incentives that will motivate and enhance employee productivity if the companies intend to move forward into new markets and snare talent.

But, offering rigid stale incentive won’t quite cut it; today’s employees are more aware of the personal touch. They don’t want to be thought of as a company asset; they want to be appreciated for their contributions to the workplace.

In order for small businesses to compete and create a workplace environment that fosters employee satisfaction, they need to offer creative and flexible incentive programs. One such strategy is to offer a flexible workweek. This strategy is extremely cost effective and is a proven method of satisfying and motivating employees.

Employees no longer live to work, they work to live. Having a flexible work schedule will afford them a sense of freedom. The employer can stagger hours, create shared workweeks for those interested, or set weekly hourly goals that can be met as the employee needs, obviously within boundaries.

The flexible schedule can be offered to eligible employees who meet established standards and who work within those standards.

Business.gov offers advice: “Start by consulting employees on their needs. Then develop and communicate a set of guidelines that is realistic for all. Once your flextime program is under way, take time to adjust it and iron out any kinks.”

In addition to a flexible work schedule, employers can initiated other cost-effective employee incentives, such as:  wellness programs, corporate membership eligibility, workplace childcare, and other related programs. Again, the workforce mentality has changed, it wants to be valued. Employees “like to see how their involvement affects the company. Incentive programs should reflect those sentiments.”

About Nichole Gunn